South Boston celebration pays special tribute to those who served | Local News



As Veterans Day approached, local veterans were reminded on Saturday morning that their sacrifices had not been forgotten.

A celebration in downtown South Boston paid tribute to those who served their country. The celebration began with a traditional service in Constitution Square and ended with a car show and festivities outside Factory Street Brewing Company.

Guest speaker on the service, Major Debra Stewart, reminded those gathered of the sacrifices made by those who served in the military and thanked all of the veterans in the audience for making those sacrifices.

She also urged everyone to strive to embody the values ​​of the Army in their daily lives: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and courage.

“The values ​​of the Army are values ​​that we must uphold as individuals in everything we do,” said Stewart. “Our society has turned away from these values… If we all lived by these values, what a great country we would have.”

The value that stems from Stewart during her 20-year career as an Army Nurse is selfless service.

“It’s not about you; it’s about what you can bring to the table to help others, ”said Stewart.

Stewart had the opportunity to help others in a meaningful way last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. She recalled working in civilian hospitals in Texas, which were understaffed and not equipped to meet the needs of the influx of COVID-19 patients during the summer of 2020.

“It was a war, but not a war with weapons or chemicals. It was a war of survival in our country, ”said Stewart. Like many other veterans, Stewart suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder – not from fighting in the war, but death scars from some of the critically ill COVID-19 patients.

“It leaves you with scars to see people die so quickly,” said Stewart.

Despite the grief she experienced, Stewart also remembers her patients’ gratitude as she struggled to care for them.

“Every day one of my patients would say ‘Thank you’ to me,” recalls the retired army nurse.

Stewart explained to the crowd that she was also working as a nurse in the intensive care unit at Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital while being ready to deploy and serve her country at any time in her second career as a army nurse. Stewart recounted the sacrifices she made for her country – time spent away from her family sleeping in a tent in a field and training in freezing weather, but after playing tap dancing on the serve, Stewart said that he had been reminded that some military men and women made the ultimate sacrifice to give their lives for their country.

A 21-gun salute by the American Legion Post 8, the singing of a patriotic medley by Stewart and his family, and a patriotic performance by dancers from the We’ve Got Rhythm Dance Academy completed the traditional service. veterans in Constitution Square.

After the service, the crowd moved to Factory Street Brewing Company, where the celebration continued with a car show and other festivities. Lori Reaves and Cissy Martin planned the auto show instead of a parade this year, with help from Earl Winbush, owner of Winbush Racing.

“A lot of our veterans have classic cars that they love to put on the parade,” Reaves noted. “The auto show provided a different opportunity for veterans to show off their cars and for the community to come and support them, since we couldn’t do the parade.

There was no entrance fee for the auto show, but all donations collected will go to the American Legion Post 8 scholarship fund.

Tom Bomar, a US Air Force Vietnam War veteran, brought his 1946 yellow Chevrolet truck to the show. He turned the truck, which he bought in 1947 just after returning from Vietnam, into a rolling tribute to Vietnam veterans.

“I wanted to honor the Vietnam veterans,” Bomar explained. “I feel like we Vietnam veterans are being forgotten.”

Bomar began collecting signatures from Vietnamese veterans on the back door of its Chevrolet truck last year, and Vietnamese veterans in attendance at Saturday’s auto show had the opportunity to add their signatures to the homage paid to them and to their service to their country.



Comments are closed.